Classics is a close-knit Department offering a range of sub-disciplines, approaches and methodologies, and periods. We are distinctive in our ambitious coverage (literature, history, archaeology, reception). In addition to the subject coverage, core strengths include oratory, law and rhetoric (currently mainly Greek), theoretically-driven approaches to Classical literature, digital archaeology, and Classical reception. Some of this activity is focused by The Centre for Oratory and Rhetoric (COR) and the Centre for the Reception of Greece and Rome (CRGR). We pride ourselves on research engaged with the contemporary world. Classics is both part of contemporary culture and offers a critical distance from which we can reflect on and critically engage with global challenges.
You can find out more about us and our research here.
Research facilities and environment
The Department offers a wide range of forums, research and research training opportunities, access to the Institute of Classical Studies Library (one of the largest classics research libraries in the world), to a very broad range of Institute of Classical Studies and other seminars, and more.
The department operates three research centres, in Archaeology, Architecture and Material Culture, in Rhetoric and in Reception and has an active and collegial PhD student culture.
PhDs are assessed by the standard 100,000 original scholarly dissertation and a viva voce examination.
New PhD students are admitted on a probationary status and are subject to an Upgrade process which usually takes place up to 18 months after admission to the PhD program.
PhD students are assigned one or more supervisors from the Department of Classics and/or other departments where appropriate (or, in some cases, external supervisors). PhD students are also assigned an Advisor from the Department staff and are provided with support from the Director of Graduate Studies and the Department administrative team, where needed.
Prospective PhD students are usually expected to have a good ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction’ MA Degree from a classics department in an acknowledged institute of higher education, however, the merit of applications is assessed individually on a case by case basis.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact PGR lead, Professor Lene Rubinstein (L.Rubinstein@rhul.ac.uk) or otherwise any member of staff with relevant research interests by whom they may wish to be considered for supervision.
The Department maintains an active equal opportunities policy. Persons of any ethnic minority or gender are encouraged to apply.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Our students go on to careers in teaching, academics, museum and conservation studies and a wide range of professions.
A PhD is a longterm commitment but a higher degree in classics, ancient history or classical archaeology provides a high level of transferrable skills training and distinct competitive, professional advancement and remuneration advantages in a wide range of professional employment opportunities.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £4,345
International students tuition fee per year**: £17,800
Other essential costs***: There are no individual costs greater than £50 per item.